(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
Article 25 is one of the 30 articles of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 as a “common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”.
Still today, millions of people subsist without adequate means for survival. Around 46,000 people die every day from easily preventable and poverty-related causes, while global humanitarian needs have never been higher since the end of the Second World War. Even in the wealthiest nations, we are witnessing a dramatic rise in levels of hunger, deprivation, social exclusion and economic inequality.
Yet there is enough food and resources in the world for everyone to enjoy a dignified and fulfilling life, with the basics guaranteed. Just the amount spent on the world’s military exceeds the annual incomes of the poorest half of humanity. A tiny percentage of global GDP could end the scourge of extreme poverty, if every nation cooperated to share the world’s resources under the auspices of the United Nations.
This will never happen unless unprecedented numbers of people unite behind a single, overarching demand for governments to implement Article 25 as an effective international law. It will require continuous, peaceful demonstrations on behalf of the least advantaged members of the human family, wherever they may live—both in our countries and far abroad. The time has come to forge a huge united public voice, one that has the potential to reorder global priorities and empower the United Nations to truly represent “we the people” of the world.
In the UK, our campaign group Share The World’s Resources (STWR) is participating in demonstrations for economic and social justice by highlighting the cause of Article 25. Please join us by attending national events that relate to the fundamental rights for adequate food, housing, healthcare and social security for all. This might include, for example, anti-austerity marches, calls for diverting military budgets to social needs, demonstrations for the right to housing and universal healthcare, or mobilisations on behalf of free public education, a living wage, decent work, and so on.
For those who live in other countries, you can also participate in relevant demonstrations under the banner of Article 25, or organise your own protest activities and awareness-raising events. We are still at the early stages of growing a global movement that upholds the basic rights of every human being to an adequate standard of living—so please get in touch and let us know your plans.
Let’s unite and together organise a historic mass movement for Article 25 beyond borders!
To learn more about our vision of worldwide demonstrations around the fundamental rights of Article 25, you can read our flagship publication: “Heralding Article 25: A people’s strategy for world transformation.”
NHS at 70: "Free, for all, forever" - Saturday 30th June 2018 in London, UK.
Poor People's Campaign: US nationwide moral direct actions - 13th May to 23rd June